Traffic charge withdrawn against murder accused, decision deferred

A traffic related charge against Kolani Jnr Lam, the man accused of the murder of his wife and the former Unit Trust of Samoa (U.T.O.S.) Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O.), Sa’u Justina Fa’asamoa, has been dismissed.

Lam appeared before the District Court on Wednesday for a hearing on a drink driving charge, which dates back to 2014. 

But Prosecutor and Attorney General’s Office lawyer, Lucy Sio – Ofoia, asked the Court to withdraw the charge.

Judge Fepuleai Ameperosa Roma granted the request and dismissed the charge.

Lam is accused of the murder of his wife Sa’u in October last year, common assault on his step-daughter and conspiracy to defeat the course of justice. 

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.  

About his murder trial in the Supreme Court, the matter has been deferred until later this month for the lawyers to file their final submissions before the Court could deliver its verdict. 

The prosecution were initially scheduled to file their final submissions on 7 November but were unable to meet the deadline. 

When the matter was called, Assistant Attorney General, Magele Leone Su’a, sought the Court’s approval to have their final submissions filed before the end of November. 

She said the delay was the result of other matters the prosecution was dealing with. 

Magele made reference to the case where three other men are charged for conspiring to murder the Prime Minister. 

But Justice Mata Keli Tuatagaloa was not happy about the delay from the prosecution.

She reminded the prosecution that the delay from their submission will impact when her decision could be delivered. 

She added that prosecution should not expect a decision before Christmas if they are unable to file their final submission. 

The final submissions from prosecution and the defence lawyer, Leiataualesa Komisi Koria has been adjourned until 28 November 2019. 

Earlier in the trial before the defence closed its case, the Supreme Court denied an application to call an expert witness in the murder trial. 

Lawyer Leiataualesa had made an application for the Court to adjourn the hearing while an expert witness is called. 

The expert witness was supposed to be the last witness for the defense before it closes its case last month.

But Justice Tuatagaloa rejected the application, pointing out that a notice requirement for the expert witness should comply with requirement under the law of a notice of 10 working days before the date is fixed for the hearing. 

Prosecution had called about 20 witnesses in proving their case against Lam including the mother of Sa’u and his daughter and niece. 

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